Dramatic footage has emerged from Russia of what appears to be a drone crashing into an oil refinery and causing a fiery explosion in what could be an attack inside Russia’s borders.
Video shared on social media showed the unmanned aerial vehicle crashing into Rostov’s Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in what would be an embarrassing penetration of Russia’s air defense systems in its ongoing war in Ukraine.
Ukraine used drones during the war but did not claim responsibility for the alleged attack.
Vasily Golubev, the governor of Russia’s Rostov region, appeared to confirm the incident, writing that fragments of two drones were found on the territory of the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery, where a major fire broke out on Wednesday morning.
Video posted on Russian social media channels showed a drone approaching the oil refinery as workers looked on.
“Do you think he’s Ukrainian?” one asked.
“Of course not,” replied another.
“Where was he?” she added, as the drone disappeared from view.
Moments later, a huge explosion rocked the refinery.
“Shit!” the spectators shouted. When a fire broke out at the refinery, the unidentified cameraman said in a resigned tone: “That’s what’s going on, guys.”
Images broadcast on Russian state television showed firefighters battling flames at the oil refinery, which halted production on Wednesday. Authorities said the fire had been contained.
Several bridges and other key infrastructure in Russia’s border regions have been damaged since the Kremlin launched its new offensive against Ukraine in February. In most cases, Russia has not admitted that it has been the victim of sabotage or cross-border attacks that penetrated its defenses.
If the attack on the refinery is confirmed, it would indicate that the drone was launched from within Russia or passed over Russian-controlled territory to reach the refinery, passing through Russian air defense systems on the way.
No one was injured in the incident at the oil refinery, the Rostov governor said.
However, in another incident on Wednesday, four people were killed in an explosion at an ammunition depot in Russia’s Vladimir region after an item “spontaneously detonated during a loading and unloading operation”, a Russian military press service said. . Three of the victims were military, while another was a civilian specialist.